You must have a GOAL for using LinkedIn so you know who you’re trying to reach and a STRATEGY so you can do so efficiently and effectively.
Get specific about your goals for using LinkedIn.
Who do you want to connect with on LinkedIn? Is it suppliers, prospects, employers, partners?
Are you looking to become a thought-leader in your marketplace?
Do you want to drive leads back to your website?
Your strategy, how you write your profile, and the updates you post should all be driven by your LinkedIn goals. For help on crafting a specific LinkedIn goal, download our SMARTER Goal Setting Worksheet.
What results do you want to see?
ROI is difficult to measure in social media, but depending on your goals, you can put some numbers to your effort on LinkedIn.
Common areas to look at are traffic back to your site, sign-ups for more information, sales leads, followers on your LinkedIn Company page, and ultimately increased sales.
Do you want to be a LinkedIn Open Networker (LION) or have a stronger relationship with your connections?
Before you get too far along in building your LinkedIn network, decide if you’re going to be a LION, accepting everyone’s invitations to connect, or if you will maintain a more limited network. There are pros and cons to both. Deciding up front will help you know what to do when you are invited to connect by someone you don’t know.
Be realistic about the amount of time you have to work on this strategy.
If you only have 15 minutes twice a week to be on LinkedIn, admit it and craft a strategy that works within that time frame. This means you’ll need to be laser-focused while you’re logged in so you can put your time into the areas that will bring you the most payoff. You’ll need to decide whether surfing the updates of your connections or engaging with members of a targeted group will be more beneficial.